NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at Columbus
(Wednesday, January 11th)
Final Score: Columbus 6, Pittsburgh 1
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Jaroslav Balastik had two goals to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 6-1 thrashing of the Pittsburgh Penguins at Nationwide Arena.
Sergei Fedorov and Rick Nash each had a goal and two assists for the Blue Jackets, who have won two straight after a three-game slide.
Pascal Leclaire made 28 saves to pick up his third victory of the year.
Ryan Malone tallied the lone goal for the Penguins, who have lost four straight and five of their last six contests.
Dany Sabourin, playing his first game of the season after being recalled before the game from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL), allowed four goals on 14 shots for Pittsburgh before being pulled early in the second period. Marc- Andre Fleury replaced him and made 16 saves in relief.
The Blue Jackets wasted no time and jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a wrist shot from the right circle by Nash just 10 seconds into the contest.
Columbus made it a 2-0 game a little over four minutes later. As a Penguin power play expired, Jan Hrdina brought the puck into the Pittsburgh zone on a 2-on-1 rush. He got the puck to David Vyborny at the left circle and he let fly with a wrister that banged off the inside post for his eighth goal of the season.
The Penguins got one back on a goal by Malone. Tomas Surovy flicked a backhander from down low on the right side that Leclaire made a save on. But, the rebound went out front and Malone poked it in at the 7:48 mark of the opening period.
However, the Blue Jackets regained their two-goal edge on a pretty tic-tac-toe power-play goal finished by a Nikolai Zherdev one-timer from the left side with 7:10 left in the first.
Columbus continued to pour it on and made it 4-1 after Balastik flicked a backhander from the slot that beat Sabourin on the glove side for a power-play goal just 40 seconds into the second period.
That was all for Sabourin in the game as he was pulled from net after the goal and replaced by Fleury.
The Blue Jackets then scored two goals separated by 23 seconds to blow the game wide open.
Cale Hulse hit Balastik coming out of the penalty box with a pass at mid-ice and he skated into the Penguins zone all alone. He snapped a wrister that beat Fleury high on the glove side at the 6:13 mark. Fedorov flicked the puck under the crossbar for his third goal of the season to make it 6-1 with 13:24 left in the second.
The contest got chippy as the game progressed. Four game misconducts and 12 fighting majors were handed out during the game and a total of 152 penalties minutes were assessed.
Columbus travels to Tampa Bay for a matchup on Friday...The Penguins continue their three-game road trip against the Blackhawks on Friday...Pittsburgh also recalled Sebastien Caron from Wilkes-Barre Scranton before the game to replace injured goaltender Jocelyn Thibault, who was placed on injured reserve on Sunday with torn cartilage in his left hip...This was the highest goal total for the Blue Jackets in a game this season...Nash has now scored goals in six straight games and has seven goals and five assists during that span.
01/11 21:59:05 ET